Box set of the week
Album: Joni Mitchell, The Studio Albums: 1968-79
Sunday 16 December 2012
As purple passages go, this one was deepest mauve. From Song to a Seagull to Mingus, it stands as one of the great "projects" in post-war songwriting, not unflawed but absurdly high-flying in terms of aspiration and achievement.
Four, maybe five, of the 10 records stand, unarguably, among the great works of the period. And here they all are, organised in one affordable package, cheaply but tastefully enshrined, like dainty little tablets from the mountaintop of the art of confession. Anguish, wanderlust, desire, reproach, indignation, loneliness, narcissism, longing .… Only Bob Dylan has greater reach as a poet of chaotic individualism.
It's fair to say the albums which bookend the core Joni experience aren't all that (Mingus in particular has not worn well), but the top notes in the middle of her 1970s run remain untouchable, all the more admirably perhaps because the woman doing the confessing isn't always likeable
But that doesn't mean the musical effort isn't often magnificent, especially on Hejira, which gets closer than any other suite of music to making the tonality of jazz work as a poetic force in the context of pop narrative songwriting. There must be someone you've hurt .…
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Arts & Ents blogs
Paul Walker death: Filming of Fast and Furious 7 on hold following death of actor
Ten adverts that shocked the world
Christmas TV 2013: Downton Abbey special details revealed
Morgan Freeman portrait: The world's most realistic finger painting?
Nymphomaniac trailer shown to children at screening of Disney film Frozen
- 1 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 UK chef creates world's most expensive ready meal - a fish pie costing £314
- 4 Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 5 I’m sure Kate Moss doesn't care about posing for Playboy. But I do